Category Archives: Meeting Notice

On-line Seminar June 20: Landscape Disturbance & Natural Gas Extraction


Landscape Disturbance Related to Natural Gas Extraction in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Sponsored by ASPRS, CaGIS and GLIS

Date & Time: June 20th, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST 

The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) GIS Division in partnership with the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) and the Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS) would like to invite our members to attend our third online seminar for the 2014 series.

Landscape Disturbance Related to Natural Gas Extraction in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Abstract:Increased demands for cleaner burning energy, coupled with the relatively recent technological advances in accessing unconventional hydrocarbon-rich geologic formations, have led to an intense effort to find and extract natural gas from various underground sources around the country. One of these sources, the Marcellus Shale, located in the Allegheny Plateau, is currently undergoing extensive drilling and production. The technology used to extract gas in the Marcellus shale is known as hydraulic fracturing and has garnered much attention because of its use of large amounts of fresh water, its use of proprietary fluids for the hydraulic-fracturing process, its potential to release contaminants into the environment, and its potential effect on water resources. Nonetheless, development of natural gas extraction wells in the Marcellus Shale is only part of the overall natural gas story in the area of Pennsylvania. Coalbed methane, which is sometimes extracted using the similar technique, is commonly located in the same general area as the Marcellus Shale and is frequently developed in clusters across the landscape. The combined effects of these two natural gas extraction methods create potentially serious patterns of disturbance on the landscape. This presentation quantifies the landscape changes and consequences of natural gas extraction for the natural gas play in Pennsylvania between 2004 and 2010. Patterns of landscape disturbance related to natural gas extraction activities were collected and digitized using National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery for 2004, 2005/2006, 2008, and 2010. The disturbance patterns were then used to measure changes in land cover and land use using the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) of 2001 as a baseline. A series of landscape metrics are also used to quantify these changes and report on the potential ecosystem effects.

About the Speaker:  Terry Slonecker is a research geographer in the United States Geological Survey’s Eastern Geographic Science Center.  He has over 30 years of experience in remote sensing and geospatial analysis including positions with the U.S. Air Force, private industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  His current research interests include hyperspectral analysis of heavy metals, hazardous substances, hydrocarbons, and related vegetation stress.  He recently taught hyperspectral remote sensing at the Afghanistan Geological Society in Kabul and has been involved in several emergency response efforts including the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. He received his master’s degree in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, and his doctorate in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia. He is currently working on mapping and measuring the landscape effects of natural gas development and on evaluating remote sensing as a tool for hazardous waste site monitoring.  On several occasions, he has served as an expert witness for the U.S. Federal Government on remote sensing related matters.

Date & Time: Date & Time: June 20th, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Remote Access / Registration:

       NOTE: Registration is limited to the first 500 people who sign up and log in to the seminar.

If you are unable to attend the live seminar, a recording will be posted at several days after the seminar.


Questions, Contact:
David Alvarez, CMS, GISP
GIS Division Director (ASPRS)

Natural Gas in SE PA Forum: March 22

Natural Gas Development
Its Impact on Southeastern Pennsylvania

Saturday, March 22, 2014,  11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Hilton Garden Inn
Fort Washington, PA (Exit 339 PA Turnpike)

Forum Features:
Cynthia Dunn, CEO and President PennFUTURE
Andrew Levine, Environmental Law Partner, Stradley Ronan Attorneys at Law
Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Directory, Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Nicholas Walsh, Director of Strategic Planning and Development, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority

Invite others! Find out what might be in store for your community!

Forum cost, with lunch is $30.00/person (Lemon Chicken or Pasta Primavera)

RSVP – Olivia Thorne ( or call 610-566-5474

FERC Public Meeting October 16, 2013

A FERC public scoping meeting to be held at the Wyndham Garden in Exton on Wednesday, October 16 at 7:00 pm. The public will have the opportunity to provide comments on the alternative pipeline routes under consideration for the Columbia Gas East Side Expansion Project.

At 6:30pm on Oct. 16, Columbia representatives will be available to answer questions about the project.

This is a good opportunity for landowners, community organizations and township officials to hear about the alternative routes and to be heard.

DEP Webinar: Public participation in permitting process, July 15

(message forwarded from PA DEP):

The Department of Environmental Protection invites you to participate in an upcomingwebinar on the department’s recently published draft Policy on Public Participation in the Permit Review Process.  This important draft policy establishes a framework for the public’s ability to review and provide comments on permits or authorizations under review by DEP. 

The webinar will be held from 2-3 p.m., Monday, July 15.  The webinar is free, but registration is required.  To register for the webinar, visit:
Staff from DEP’s Policy Office will review the draft policy and outline the changes proposed.  The draft policy was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on June 29 and can be found here:
The deadline to comment on the draft policy is July 22. 
We look forward to your participation.
Alisa E. Harris | Special Deputy Secretary for External Affairs
Department of Environmental Protection
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: 717.787.6490 | Fax: 717.705.4980

Best Management Practices for Natural Gas Pipelines

In December 2011, The Nature Conservancy as part of its Pennsylvania Energy Impacts Assessment issued a report on Natural Gas Pipelines. Their key findings included:

  • Pennsylvania’s network of large diameter natural gas pipelines will double and possibly quadruple in the next 20 years.The expansion is attributed to Marcellus shale gas development.
  • The expansion could build 10,000 miles to 25,000 miles of new pipeline in Pennsylvania.
  • Between 120,000 and 300,000 acres will be affected by natural gas pipeline construction, which is larger than the total area of all other Marcellus related infrastructure. Approximately half of this impacted area will be in Pennsylvania’s forests.
  • The expanding network of pipeline rights-of-way will create 360,000 to 900,000 acres of new forest edges. This could eliminate habitat conditions needed by native interior forest species and expose the core forest to invasive species.

Along with encouraging the co-location of new capacity with existing rights-of-way, the Nature Conservancy recommends the development of Best Practices to avoid or minimize habitat impacts. 

Penn State Extension offers free webinar on the best conservation practices for shale-gas extraction at 1 PM on February 21, 2013. Scott Bearer and Tamara Gagnolet, of The Nature Conservancy, will discuss their analysis of practices that could benefit the environment. Registration for this webinar is not necessary, and all are welcome to participate by logging in to . For more information, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or by email at

If you missed the webinar, past webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website (, covering a variety of topics, such as Act 13; seismic testing; air pollution from gas development; water use and quality; zoning; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; gas pipelines and right-of-way issues; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

Carolyn Elefant to speak at OJR

Carolyn Elefant, whose law offices wrote  Knowing and Protecting Your Rights When an Interstate Gas Pipeline Comes to Your Community will be speaking at Owen J Roberts High School on Saturday, February 16, 2013, from 10 AM to 12 PM. The doors open at 9:00 AM, and a short film about the Hopewell Big Woods will be shown at 9:30.

You can find more about the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant at the web site.

Landowner’s Guide to Pipelines

At the January 29, 2013, Informational Meeting, Lynda Farrell referenced a pamphlet created by the Pipeline Safety Trust, Bellingham, WA, you can get  Landowner’s Guide to Pipelines; safety, responsibilities, your rights. here.

Press coverage of the meeting: 
Gas pipeline meeting in East Nantmeal covers rights of neighbors (Daily Local News 01/30/2013)